With NBCUniversal announcing its broadcast network’s plans, Comcast’s programming arm will present a Winter Olympics-record 539 hours of linear coverage from Sochi, Russia.
That’s 103 hours more than for the 2010 Games, even though NBC’s total of 185 spanning three dayparts is slightly less than the 193.5 hours the Peacock, then owned by General Electric, presented from Vancouver.
NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Sochi Games begins in primetime on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. (ET), one night before the network’s traditional coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7, and continues until the Closing Ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 23. NBC’s 185-hour schedule is divided into three dayparts – daytime, primetime and late night – over 18 days. NBC’s primetime fare will include figure skating, short track, speed skating, alpine skiing, snowboarding/freestyle, while its daytime docket is highlighted by gold medal finals in 11 of the 15 Winter Olympic sports, including speed skating, short track, snowboarding and hockey.
Bob Costas will host primetime and late night for NBC’s Sochi Winter Olympics coverage, becoming U.S. television’s first 10-time Olympic primetime host.
In addition to NBC, NBCSN (a cable record 230 hours), CNBC (36), MSNBC (45), USA Network (43) and NBCOlympics.com via NBC Sports LiveExtra (1,000+), most of which will be available to authenticated “TV Everywhere” subscribers, will serve up the most expansive and in-depth coverage in Winter Olympics history. The 1,539 hours is more than the 1,254 combined for the two most recent Winter quadrennials combined: Vancouver (835) and Torino in 2006 (419).
NBCSN, which has supplanted USA Network as the home of Team USA on NBCU’s Olympic roster, will be home to the most extensive and live figure skating coverage in TV history.
All 12 new Olympic events, including disciplines in freeskiing, snowboarding and figure skating, will air on NBC.
The broadcast network also will present coverage of the women’s and men’s ice hockey gold medal games live across all time zones on Thursday, Feb. 20 at noon (ET)/9 a.m. (PT) and Sunday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 a.m. (ET)/3:30 (PT), respectively. That early face-off will likely result in a major fall-off from the 27.6 million viewers who saw Canada top the U.S. in the men’s gold-medal contest from Vancouver.
Source: Multichannel News, 12/19/13